The seder plate is the center of the holiday
Right now the Jewish people are celebrating one of their biggest holidays. Passover is a holiday that centers on the family. It is not a holiday in remembrance of a person, but a time in Jewish history. The celebration is in recognition of the end of slavery for the Jewish people. They had been slaves in Egypt for a very long time. They made bricks and were owned by their masters just as black people used to be owned here in America. Memories are the strength of the Jewish people. Memory is the secret of eternal life.
“A scattered nation that remembers its past and connects it with the present will undoubtedly have a future as a people and probably even a more glorious than the one in the past.” —-Lev Levanda
“Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.” —Corrie Ten Boom
Passover is more than a holiday. Passover is the magical message of spring, the season Thoreau called “an experience in immortality.” It is the time when Mother Nature reminds us that rebirth and rejuvenation are part of God’s plan for the world. Passover is a biblical proclamation that human beings are meant to be free. Let me repeat that. Human beings are meant to be free.They are meant to be free and equal. Passover is the birthday of the Jewish people, when the descendants of Abraham, Issac and Jacob were redeemed from Egypt and chosen by G-d to begin their roles as His Chosen People who would serve as a “light unto the natures.”
Passover is the wonder of ritual, the beauty of ceremony, the power of customs and the spirituality of tradition, the meaningfulness of shared observance. At the Passover Seder, all of this is transmitted to the next generation. It is handed down generation to generation. It is passed from the past to the present. Each Jew relives the escape every year during the Seder.
When the Jewish people are overwhelmed by personal problems that we think are insurmountable, they remember the story of their ancestors escaping from Egypt. It was impossible for the Jewish people to escape their owners, it was impossible for them to realize their dream of freedom, until G-d helped Moses lead them to freedom. The story is saved in the Torah to be re-experienced by any Jewish person.
“In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.” —Prime Minister Ben Gurion
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” —Albert Einstein
The story is found in the Torah, in the book of Exodus. Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob who had been sold into Egyptian slavery by his own brothers, rose to a position of leadership second only to King Pharaoh. Years later, famine forced the family of Jacob to settle in Egypt where they were reunited. The Hebrews were accepted warmly out of respect for the assistance Joseph gave to the Pharaoh over the years. The Egyptian government acknowledged Joseph as their nation’s savior. In time, a new Pharaoh came to power and did not recognize the Hebrews past services to the nation of Egypt. He soon turned the Hebrew into slaves. The people cried out to G-d and with their leader, Moses, their prayers were answered. It took centuries but their prayers were answered. God performed a number of miracles, Ten Plagues that were visited on Egypt to convince the Pharaoh to “Let His People Go.” On the night of the Tenth Plague, G-d smote the lives of every first born child. He passed-over the homes of the Jews and they fled into the night towards their freedom. Passover begins on the anniversary of that flight into the dark night being chased by the Egyptians.